Massdrop ‘Veil Wind Pants’

Hey all,

Last November I posted about the Massdrop ‘Veil Wind Shell‘, which is the newest wind jacket that I have been testing.

Earlier this month, January 2019, Massdrop announced they are now making a pair of wind pants, called the ‘Veil Wind Pants‘, and I thought that I would share about them, and some of my personal initial thoughts about them, based on what I can see from their specs, and my usage with their wind jacket.

Unlike in the world of wind jackets, which is a market that has become plenteous as of late, there are not as many companies out there making wind pants, so it is usually worth taking a look at when new wind pants hit the market – I am not saying buying, but at least taking a look.

I am not going to get into the topics of “why use wind pants when you can just use rain pants” or “do we really need yet another company making wind pants” or those type of stupid questions. Those always just get filed into the trash bin. A lack of understanding should not mean you just bash something or question it. I have zero knowledge and experience of gear used in deep snow or polar expeditions, so why would I start bashing on them. Don’t let a keyboard diminish who you are.

Features:

Let us start by taking a look at the features of these wind pants.

Massdrop approached me a few months back asking me if I would be interested in helping them develop a pair of wind pants using their Veil fabric, so I have had some insight, if not direct influence, into the features of these wind pants.

As some of you may know, I have worn a single pair of Montbell Dynamo Wind Pants for over two thousand (2,000) days, as well as the Montbell Tachyon wind pants (which I gave away, I just did not like them) and a few other pair of wind pants that will go unnamed as I thought they sucked. But suffice to say, I have come to know what I want in a pair of wind pants, but that is far from saying what it is that others want in a pair of wind pants, of that I will fully admit.

So when Massdrop approached me on what features I thought a pair of wind pants should have, I basically listed off the features of the Dynamo wind pants, that is:

  • An elastic top with a cord closure method.
  • Bottom leg zippers to help with getting them on/off without having to take your shoes/boots off.
  • The really sweet samue underfoot straps.
  • And no stupid pockets.

Those four things pretty much made up the list of features that I suggested to them, in what I thought a pair of ultralight wind pants should have, nothing more, nothing less.

Unexpectedly, a box showed up from Massdrop a month or two later with a
prototype pair of the wind pants. So, awesomely, for the last couple of months I have had the oppertunity to provide additional feedback and try them out.

Somewhere along the way I mentioned to them that the one issue that the Dynamo wind pants have had, both for me and other hikers that have contacted me about them after buying a pair after reading my reviews on them, is that the crotch threads are always blowing out. I have had to restitch the crotch area on my Dynamo wind pants more than once, a lot more, sigh. So one of the things that Massdrop has done is introduce reinforced crotch seams to try to prevent this from happening on the Veil wind pants. So, now I can sit down around camp and not worry about yet-another-oops-moment.

One thing I would like to mention is that the Massdrop website seems to indicate that the bottom leg zippers are for “increase ventilation when you need it“. I just gotta say that that is a statement that I would like to see them remove. The bottom leg zippers are not for ventilation, they are for making it easier to take the pants off without having to take your shoes off. Wind pants, for many people, are something that are taking on/off multiple times throughout your hiking day. As the wind comes up, on they go. When the wind stops, you take them off. Now, granted, some folks, like me, wear them as my primary leg garments, but for the most part, wind pants are typically one of those garments that are just part of the layering system that involves being taken on/off as dictated by the weather. So yeah, the bottom zippers are just a convenience feature. In my 2000+ days of wearing wind pants, not a single time have I ever up-zipped (??) the zippers on my wind pants to help ventilate them. Maybe just me though.

So, fast Forward to earlier this month when Massdrop announced their new
Veil Wind Pants, and how about that, almost all of the features I suggested have made it into their final production ‘Veil Wind Pants‘. The exception being an internal pocket that acts as a stuff-pocket for storing the pants when not in use, which, I have to say, I have found to be kinda nice.

Let’s Talk Fabric:

Now, we cannot really talk about wind pants, just like we cannot talk about wind jackets, without talking about the fabric, because really, regardless of features, if the fabric on wind garments (jackets, pants, gloves, hoods, whatever) suck, no amount of cool features is going to matter. Fabric is king in the world of wind garments, and that is why so much is written and talked about in the world of wind garments, I should know, I have published way too many articles about them, admittedly.

What we do know about the Veil fabric is that it has a CFM of 11. That is not amazing, and it is not horrible. It places it in a sort of middle-of-the-road.

In all of my use of the Massdrop Veil Wind Jacket use, I have found it to be pretty good. In line with the other market leaders in that category of CFM.

Likewise, in my limited, a month or two, use of the prototype wind pants, they too have proven to be what I would expect them to be, with a 11-CFM rating.

If you really really want a true wind blocker, you would be an idiot to not go with the EE Copperfield, specifically selecting their 20-d rip-stop nylon option, which they have reported has a 1-CFM, in order words, pretty much zero amount of wind is going to get through. On the bad side though, it almost means it is going to pretty much have zero breathability, but if you are in a condition where you actually do need a totally wind-proof garment, you probably also do not want a garment that is breathing, in order to keep the warm air inside, helping your natural thermoregulation.

Now, we also know that the Veil fabric is a silicone coated 15d ripstop nylon. That is going to make it on the more durable side of wind pants in the ultralight market. Certainly more durable than the Dynamo’s, which a number of hikers that I know and respect have found to shred apart when they have used them.

Massdrop is also applying a DWR to the fabric. I do know what kind, or the process, or the amount, that is something I do not think that they have disclosed.

Lastly, we know that the fabric is a 31 gsm and an unknown type of antibacterial has been applied to it in order to help reduce odor buildup, though, I am not really sure why, it is ripstop nylon after all /shrugs/

Myself wearing both the Veil Wind Shirt & Wind Pants.

So, The Elephant In The Room Question:

Why buy the Massdrop Veil Wind Pants over the Montbell Dynamo Wind Pants?

Sure, I am willing to take on this question… of course I am. No reason to shy away from it, as it is a totally legit question.

Well, for those who are after the lightest of the lightest, going with the Dynamo pants are going to help in your sub-2268 quest. Saving you 10 grams (0.3 ounces) of carry-weight when not wearing them!

And, for those who are maybe a bit more aggressives, shall we say umm, abusive, with their gear, the Veil pants are going to be a better option.

For those in areas that have higher levels of fog and light rain, the Veil wind pants are going to edge out the Dynamo pants as a result of both the fabric and what I feel/sense is better DRW on the fabric.

For those that are looking to save an extra $20 bucks in their overall gear setup, the Veil wind pants are less expensive. Hey, an extra $20 bucks saved on gear is an extra meal in town while out on your thru-hike!

Of course, the Veil wind pants, at least at this point in time, are still in production/pre-order phase, scheduled to be shipped sometime around June of this year, so, that is still a good five months away. To late for the 2019 thru-hiker season, that is for sure.

When it comes to features, it really does not matter, they are both pretty much identical.

So, if I were to be looking to buy a new pair of wind pants for the late 2019 hiking season, would I be buying a pair of the Dynamo or the Veil wind pants?

I think I would probably go with the Veil wind pants. The reasons being: they are $20 bucks less, and a garment being an extra 10 grams is something I no longer care about, and being more durable is always a good thing. Plus, I just kind of like supporting the folks at Massdrop – what they are doing within the ultralight community is just really neat and I think they deserve our support. So, yeah, go order yourself a pair of these Massdrop Veil Wind Pants!

Thanks,
+John Abela

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Massdrop Veil Wind Shell

Hey Adventurers!

I wanted to post a few brief thoughts on the Massdrop Veil Wind Shell, based on a couple dozen emails and questions on other social websites that I have gotten about this wind garment.

First a quick recap on the history of it. I placed the order for mine in late February of 2018. It was not yet in production, as has become common on Massdrop these days for their own line-up of products, and I received mine on July 26, 2018.

Continue reading “Massdrop Veil Wind Shell”

[Massdrop] Zpacks Nero Backpack

Hey everybody,

Our good friends over at Zpacks teamed up with our good friends at Massdrop to bring the Zpacks ‘Nero’ Backpack to the Massdrop website, at a rather nice discount.

As any of you Zpacks fans know, Zpacks almost never offers deals on their gear. Every few years they sometimes do a Christmas/holiday discount, but even that has been rare.

Over the last year Zpacks has worked with Massdrop on a few different Drops/Deals, including the Duplex, but this time around it is the new Nero backpack.

You can join this Massdrop drop at:

https://www.massdrop.com/buy/zpacks-nero-backpack/

The normal price for the Nero is $199.00 USD.

The discount price that Massdrop has been able to offer is: $174.99

That is discount of $24.01 for the mathematically inclined.

The Nero is available in army green, azure blue, black, or gray. The azure blue and army green are in my photo attached to this article.

You can read my initial thoughts/insights into the new Nero backpack within this article of mine.

Trail Designs “Caldera Cone” for the Vargo/Massdrop 700 BOT

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I just got an email from the guys at Trail Designs that they have released a Caldera Cone (both standard & classic ti-tri) for the Vargo Outdoors/Massdrop “BOT 700”.

As I have previously shared, Trail Designs cannot make a Sidewinder for the BOT 700 due to the design of the pot, so this is great news that there is now a Caldera Cone for it!

You can order the Standard Caldera Cone or the Classic Ti-Tri Caldera Cone directly from Trail Designs, just look for the “Vargo BOT (0.7 Liter)” pot size!

Massdrop x Klymit Pillow Ultra Light

Massdrop x Klymit Static V Ultralight Pad & Pillow X UL

Greetings Adventurers!

Wanted to talk Klymit pillows for a couple of minutes, with a primary focus on the newly introduced “Pillow Ultra Light” – a collaborative pillow with Massdrop and Klymit.

At the moment Klymit has three pillows on the market:

  1. Pillow X
  2. Cush Seat
  3. Pillow Ultra Light

I have used all three of these and as one would expect, they each have their highlights.

Continue reading “Massdrop x Klymit Pillow Ultra Light”

Resizing the Massdrop x Klymit Static V Ultralight Sleeping Pad

Resizing the Massdrop x Klymit Static V Ultralight Sleeping Pad

Greetings adventurers,

Last month I published an article entitled ‘Massdrop x Klymit ‘Static V Ultra Light‘ in which I took at look at the collaboration work between Massdrop and Klymit with the introduction of their new 20d fabric sleeping pad.

Towards the end of the article I made this statement:

I know some of you are going to be wondering about modifying the Massdrop x Klymit ‘Static V Ultra Light’. As some of us have – myself included – with other Klymit (and even TaR) sleeping pads, the Massdrop x Klymit ‘Static V Ultra Light’ is manufactured like all of the other Klymit sleeping pads, that is, with a heat pressure machine. This means that you will easily be able to cut down the Massdrop x Klymit ‘Static V Ultra Light’ from the standard 72″ length to something in the shorter range

I was asked if I would be willing to make a video showing how this is done.

It took me a bit of work, as the video shoot unfortunately turned into about 3.5 hours of total video, as I talked my way through every little step as I was recording. The total shoot time spanned three days of modifying the pad (and thus shooting video) with a one day delay due to my archaic iron not working and having to purchase a new one.

For the sake of everybody, I got the main video shortened down to about 40 minutes.

I realize that is still a very long video and I will not feel bad if anybody skips ahead to the good part, towards the end, but hopefully there will be something in the first 30 or so minutes that will interest some folks.

Continue reading “Resizing the Massdrop x Klymit Static V Ultralight Sleeping Pad”